ST 2627 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2627 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select a few of the more difficult clues and provide hints for them.

Don’t forget that you can give your assessment of the puzzle. Five stars if you thought it was great, one if you hated it, four, three or two if it was somewhere in between.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post before asking questions about the site.

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submission


1a           China as location of storm that’s not serious (6)
This item made from china porcelain is the location of the type of storm that is not very serious – often the required capitalisation of the first word in a clue is used to conceal a proper noun; here it is the opposite, it’s there to make you think that it is China as a country!

11a         Part of political policy tried after ten failed schemes? (5)
This part of political policy could be the eleventh scheme, after schemes A, B, C, ….J have failed

28a         Blow for person taking advantage of sunshine (8)
A wild swinging blow could describe someone who is taking advantage while the sun shines

29a         Namely, keeping in learner working least (6)
Take the full Latin expression for “namely” or “that is” and insert L(earner) to get an adjective meaning working least


1d           Part of experimental set-up showing match on TV (4,4)
An instrument much used in the chemistry laboratory is a charade of an international cricket or rugby match and a slang word for the TV

5d           E.g. ten to four on watch for counterpart (8,6)
A description of the relationship that ten has to four on a watch gives one’s counterpart in another organization

7d           Follower of ruler seen in Asian garments time after time (7)
This follower of one of the former rulers of Russia is created by putting some garments worn by Asian women and T(ime) all after T(ime)

9d           Mall that provides double parking? (8,6)
The second word of this mall describes the location of the double P(arking) in the first word – my joint “clue of the day”

17d         Minimal alms redistributed in case (8)
A word meaning minimal is derived from an anagram (redistributed) of ALMS followed by a word meaning in case or for fear that

19d         Policy analyst dealing with odds and ends? (7)
This insurance policy analyst deals with the chances (odds) of someone dying (ends) – my other joint “clue of the day”

24d         Share, say, a tea? Oh, you queue up (5)
This share is created phonetically (say) from a,  tea, oh, you and queue all reversed (up in a down clue)

If you need further help then please ask and I will see what I can do.

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put whole or partial answers or alternative clues in your comment, else they may be censored!

Today it’s Happy Birthday to Smokey Robinson (72)



  1. mary
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Afternoon Dave and thanks for the hints tho’ I did finish without, finding some quite a struggle, I still don’t get 19d maybe I’ve got it wrong! at first I couldn’t see why 10a needed the second part of the clue, it could well finish after transport? fav clues 27a and 24a and now that you’ve explained it 9d :-), a three star for me today and no real Ah! moments

    • Posted February 19, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      There’s only one word that first the checking letters for 19 down, so it’s unlikely that you got it wrong!

      The definition from the BRB:

      “A person whose profession is to assess financial and business problems, esp insurance risks, and to calculate premiums using mathematical and statistical techniques”

      I met a number of them in various jobs, but only one that seemed to be a normal human being – I hope you are reading this Leslie Gray up there in Bearsden!

      • Posted February 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        I had one as a boss once. He double underlined all of his headings in pencil with a ruler. Strange cove!

        • SpikeyMikey
          Posted February 19, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

          Very twilight zone………… spooky!!!!!

        • Posted February 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

          My dearly departed dad was one. As we used to quip, “How do you tell an extrovert *******? He looks at your shoes when he’s talking to you”.
          Or “an *******; a person who found the idea og accountancy just a little too exciting”…..

          • mary
            Posted February 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

            Must be me I just don’t get it!

      • mary
        Posted February 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        Yes, thanks Dave must be right just didn’t understand the ‘odds and ends’ bit! Glad you had good time yesterday, it was lovely to have invite although I couldn’t be there, did Mrs BD go too? Off to cinema this afternoon to see ‘Woman in Black’

        • TimCypher
          Posted February 19, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

          Oooo, I watched that this Monday past.
          Enjoyable film, I thought – Daniel Radcliffe was very good in it – get ready to jump, Mary! ;)

        • Kath
          Posted February 19, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

          We saw “The Woman in Black” on the stage in London a few years ago on youngest daughter’s 18th birthday. We went to a matinee and, having had a large celebratory lunch first, I was a bit worried about going to sleep – not a chance! It was the scariest thing I’ve EVER seen!

      • Kath
        Posted February 19, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        Love it – I have a brother-in-law who is one – he is definitely not someone who could ever be described as a normal human being! In fact, don’t even start me ….

  2. SpikeyMikey
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    This one was full of ‘Ohs’, D’ohs, ‘Ehs?’ and various assorted cusses not for for a Sunday morning! Was a bit out there…….. so, not so much of a struggle, as realignment of brain cells – thoroughly enjoyed it! :-)

  3. Colmce
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the tips Dave, 2 unsolved and 1 wrong , now done and dusted. 18a tested this patron of Primark.

    • Posted February 19, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Colmce

  4. Jezza
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Super puzzle – 9d favourite. Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  5. Posted February 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Very nice puzzle completed with just a couple of hints from BD (thanks).
    Plently of ‘Dohs’ and ‘of courses’.
    Thanks Virgilius

  6. Annidrum
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Disaster,disaster, unable to access the crossword today. For some reason we were required to sign in to-day instead of automatically going to the puzzles as normal. Couldn’t remember password ,requested new one, told new one had been sent but not receiving it in e-mail.!! :sad: :sad:

    • Kath
      Posted February 19, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear – poor you – how frustrating! :sad: Perhaps some kind soul will email you a link, or something clever like that so that you can print it out. I would do it but I’m not clever/technical enough to know what to do and my husband is at work.

      • Annidrum
        Posted February 19, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for your kind thought Kath .

  7. Kath
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    I got going on this one far more quickly than is usual for a Sunday – either I’m getting the hang of Sunday puzzles or it was a bit easier than usual. I ended up with one that I couldn’t do – 11a – with first, third and fifth letters in I could only see two words that would fit and neither seemed to fit the clue but sorted now from the hint – never heard of that meaning. I didn’t understand the “ends” bit of 19d and neither could I see why 24d was what it was – both of those also dealt with by the hints. That only leaves one that I don’t entirely get – 8d – I see the “Left” and the “one” but why is the “man” always on board. I enjoyed the crossword very much. Best clues for me today include 1 and 20a and 22 and, now that I understand it, 24d. With thanks to Virgilius and BD for the hints.

    • Franco
      Posted February 19, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      8d – Chess?

      • Kath
        Posted February 19, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Franco and Jezza – I’d guessed that it was something to do with chess but, not being a chess player, didn’t know that the game was over when he got knocked off, or whatever it is that happens to him! :smile:

        • Franco
          Posted February 19, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

          In chess, he’s the only piece that cannot be taken – so he’s always on the board! In victory and defeat!

          • Kath
            Posted February 19, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

            OK – thanks, again. It looks as if I had one chance to be right in how I interpreted what Jezza said – and I’m STILL wrong. At least I understand the answer now! :smile:

    • Jezza
      Posted February 19, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kath

      Re 8d – ‘That’ man has to ‘always’ be on (the)board, otherwise the game is over! (if that makes sense?)

  8. crypticsue
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Superb as ever, thank you Virgilius. My only hold up was with 19a as I had to check that it meant what i thought it did. My favourites include 11a, 28a, 29a, and 9d. Thanks to BD too – glad you had a good time yesterday.

  9. TimCypher
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Just 3 or 4 clues left to get, but I just had to drop in to comment on how much I’m enjoying this puzzle thus far.
    And it’s the usual Sunday masterpiece from Virgilius, featuring so much wit and ingenious cluing that, for me, just puts him head and shoulders above all the other setters…combined!
    You’d think, by now, given the sheer quantity of truly wonderful puzzles he’s provided, that something would start to give – but, if anything, he’s actually raising the bar even higher!
    Just brilliant! :)

  10. Derek
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Had trouble getting my regular sunny gravatar!
    Usual enjoyable puzzle from Virgilius.
    Faves : 11a, 14a, 18a, 28a, 5d, 9d, 21d & 22d.

    Thought 24d a shade weak!!!

    Mixed bag of weather here today in NL – sunny spells, a snowfall with strong north wind – it didn’t settle – and now sun again. The upper clouds are moving southwards but the poplars are still. There is an alameda across the street in the hospital terrain! Four and a half weeks to go for the Spring.

    Haven’t decided on dinner – overate somewhat last evening chez mes amis!

  11. Posted February 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    I spent absolutely YONKS on the last 6 clues and finally finished on 21d (Plants are NOT my forte!). Agreed on 9d as my favourite but it was all very good. Thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  12. Addicted
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this one – done in “two sittings”, which is not unusual for me. Couldn’t quite understand 11a so thanks for explaining that one BD. Agree with Kath above – either it was easier than usual or I’m getting the hang suddenly – would like to think it was the latter! Thanks to setter for some Sunday fun.

  13. Tilsit
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Stupendous stuff from one of the finest setters around. Have nominated 9d as Clue of the Week on another site, but so many other good ones too

  14. Heno
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to virgilius & Big Dave for the hints, just needed a couple for 7d & 19d. The rest went in ok. Favourites were 1a & 18a. Great weather in Central London went for a 2 hour walk round Parly Hill & Kenwood earlier.

  15. Kath
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Very quiet here today! Where is everyone – hibernating?

    • Addicted
      Posted February 19, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

      Well,I’m still here – just! Just checking before I go to bed. Hello Kath

  16. Posted February 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Finally got around to finishing this one today! We were doing it sat in the sun outside the Brasseria at the end of the village and enjoying the view when some friends turned up, and then some more friends, so that rather put paid to the crossword, and Sunday as well for that matter :grin:

    Plenty of good stuff in this, as is usual on a Sunday, but favourite has to be 24d.

    Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    • mary
      Posted February 20, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      That sounds lovely pommers, the ‘sat outside in the sun’ bit I mean :-)

      • Posted February 20, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        The hangover this morning wasn’t lovely!

        • mary
          Posted February 20, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

          but was it worth it :-)

          • Posted February 20, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

            Not sure about ‘worth it’ but it was a very pleasant afternoon/evening :smile:

    • Posted February 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      I’ve just checked the weather here for West Bridford and it’s going to reach a balmy 13°C by Wednesday but this will be tempered by a wind gusting at 23 mph. You lucky sod!